Interview with Amiri Baraka
QUESTION 21
JUDY RICHARDSON:

Do you think it affected the way White folks saw us?

AMIRI BARAKA:

Well it, it affected, they saw us like that for two reasons for on--

JUDY RICHARDSON:

I'm sorry if you could just--

AMIRI BARAKA:

Yeah, talking about did it affect the way White folks saw us. It reflected the way White folks saw us. Number one, you see the whole Amos and Andy and Beulah syndrome. It reflected their attempted caricature. What they didn't understand is that there was a legitimate humanity and humor that they wanted to ridicule that couldn't stand ridicule. They wouldn't understand it. For instance, when they had Stepin Fetchit come by and they ask, when one of these people was trying to get Stepin Fetchit to do work because Stepin Fetchit was trying to make conversation, and Stepin Fetchit wants to know "Is Franco still dead yet?" And that's a heavy question. See? And he's going to ask this man, is Franco still dead, if--Franco, of course, is the leader of the fascists. Now if the man is going to get off into a long dialogue about Franco being dead it might take five or ten minutes to get through that conversation, and Stepin Fetchit still hadn't done no work yet. He's just standing there. You know, so that's not lost on us.




[TEAM B]